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DateLine Sunday, 25 May 2008

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[Memory Lane]

Naughty colleagues

There were days that Samadhi and I finish doing the pages pretty early, well ahead of the deadline. But that happens very rarely. One such day we both were dead bored and thought of playing a game.

But then we had to do it nonchalantly because if we get, caught to any of our bosses we both would end up in getting ‘noted’. So we decided to play ‘gahanu, pirimi, mal, palathuru’.

Hiding the papers inside the books we secretly started to play the game. Little fights which ended up with giggling did add more fun to the game. We actually went back to the good old school days and at times forgot that we were in the office.

One of the senior women journalists noticed our giggling and found out that we were at play. Samadhi and I were very disturbed thinking that she would tell others but surprisingly she too started enjoying, watching us play and, from that day onwards she started calling us as Laurel and Hardy.

While we were engrossed in the game we suddenly realised that our second boss in command was staring at us. We pretended as if we are really busy with our writing, but then the phone extension rang. I was the one to pick it up and he asked, “what are you both up to?” Though I was desperate for the right words to lie to him, I failed.

Instead I told him that we are playing ‘gehanu, pirimi, mal, palathuru’. Believe it or not, I thought it was the end for both of us but luckily he gave a gentle smile and put the phone down. From then on we saw that he was looking at us every now and then but no reprimand at all. Maybe he thought of accepting it as innocent naughtiness for once.

We were running out of alphabet letters, the game was still on and going steady when unexpectedly our big boss walked into the department. We both got scared out of our wits. We tried to hide the papers but then if we do so he will definitely will figure out that we were both upto something naughty.

All what we did was silently wishing that he would walk out of the department soon. But then Samadhi and I have this terrible problem, giggling at wrong times at the wrong places. So here we go again.... We both started giggling. No way of stopping and no matter how much we tried, until the boss asked as to why we were giggling?

We still couldn’t stop it. Well for some luck he just walked out with a smile. I guess he knew that we have this serious problem of giggling but I doubt even up to today that he is aware of what we were really up to!!!! Well what can I say, naughty girls cannot remain sombre for long.

We do get this urge to let off steam by being naughty. We all had this bad habit of pulling the adjust lever of the chairs while people were happily seated on them - a bad habit we had picked up from the Graphics Department.

This little prank turned nasty when one of our closest friends pulled the lever on the chair of one of our most strictest bosses was seated on. He was hard on her. And when you get scolded by him you never dream of doing it again. But in spite of the fright, our naughty friend never stopped doing it!

To tell you the truth most of us are naughty but most of us don’t show it. We have this very reserved looking journalist in our staff.

But let me tell you appearances can be deceptive. In spite of her appearance, she is extremely mischievous. One day she brought this rubber snake from home and was determined to scare someone with it. The ideal target seemed to have been one of our easily scared senior journalists.

Most of the younger journalists joined in. The seemingly reserved journalist tried many times to pull the rubber snake out of her drawer and put it in the drawer of the senior journalist. But he just wouldn’t budge. When that didn’t work we tried to put it on the floor near him. But that wouldn’t work either. We just didn’t want to risk being found out.

The best thing happened while I was looking away and I missed the whole thing. Too bad. Any way nobody would have believed it, if they weren’t there to see it with their own eyes.

One of our senior women journalists - very serious and strict - must have thought ‘why go to all this trouble’, just picked up the rubber snake and threw it at the other senior journalist. He put his right hand on his chest and said “Ammo...” with a gasp. We all had a hearty laugh.

But only recently did I learn that according to Buddhism scaring others in any form is not as grave a sin as killing an animal, but is also a sin, with certain retribution.

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